Poverty and Food Needs: Des Moines County, Iowa

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Poverty and Food Needs

Iowa Community Indicators Program


Poverty and Food Needs: Des Moines County,


Liesl Eathington

Iowa State University, leathing@iastate.edu

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This Report is brought to you for free and open access by the Iowa Community Indicators Program at Iowa State University Digital Repository. It has been accepted for inclusion in Poverty and Food Needs by an authorized administrator of Iowa State University Digital Repository. For more information, please contactdigirep@iastate.edu.

Recommended Citation

Eathington, Liesl, "Poverty and Food Needs: Des Moines County, Iowa" (2014). Poverty and Food Needs. 127.


Poverty And Food Needs


Revised September, 2014 Poverty and food insecurity impact the welfare of

individuals, families, and communities. This profile describes indicators of poverty, food insecurity, and other measures of general economic well-being in Des Moines County, Iowa.

Des Moines County



Poverty Rates 2

Food Insecurity 3

Food Accessibility 4

Nutrition 5

Local Income 8

Household Economic Stress 9

Data Notes 11

Demographic Profile 10

Program Participation Trends 7

Program Participation Levels 6


People living in poverty have annual incomes insufficient to meet their basic needs. The Federal government determines the poverty status of individuals and families using money income thresholds that vary by family size. The thresholds are based on three times the cost of a minimum food diet. See Page 11 for current Federal poverty guidelines.

The incidence of poverty varies among individuals and families with different socio-economic characteristics. Table 1 (following page) displays poverty rates by age, race and ethnicity, work experience, and family type in Des Moines County and the state. The data describe average poverty characteristics during a five-year survey

measurement period.

For each poverty measure, Table 1 includes a point estimate and a margin of error (MOE) value associated with that estimate. Adding and

subtracting the margin of error to the point estimate yields a confidence interval that is 90% likely to contain the actual number or percentage of individuals or families in poverty.



Sources: American Community Survey Tables S1701, S1702, B17001, B17010, and B17022, U.S. Census Bureau.

Table 1. Poverty Status of Individuals and Families, 2008-2012

Poverty Status of Individuals Number

MOE (+/-) % Rate MOE (+/-) % Rate MOE (+/-) Total population in poverty... 5,724 685 14.5% 1.7% 12.2% 0.2%

Individuals in Poverty by Age

Under 18 years... 1,764 359 19.1% 3.9% 15.9% 0.5% Age 5 and under... 657 216 22.5% 7.0% 19.3% 0.6% Age 6 to 17... 1,107 250 17.6% 3.7% 14.2% 0.4% Age 18 to 64... 3,374 412 14.4% 1.7% 11.9% 0.2% Age 65 and up... 586 104 8.6% 1.5% 7.5% 0.2% Age 64 to 75... 234 66 6.6% 1.8% 5.8% 0.2% Age 75 and older... 352 85 10.9% 2.6% 9.3% 0.3%

Individuals in Poverty by Race and Hispanic Origin

White alone... 4,473 611 12.4% 1.7% 10.9% 0.2% Other race alone or in combination... 1,251 342 37.5% 9.4% 27.4% 1.1% Hispanic or Latino, any race... 456 162 43.2% 15.4% 26.6% 1.7%

Individuals in Poverty by Work Status in the Past 12 Months

All persons ages 16 years and older... 4,141 463 13.2% 1.5% 11.1% 0.2% Worked full-time, year-round... 299 137 2.4% 1.0% 2.2% 0.1% Worked part-time or part-year... 1,562 268 19.6% 3.0% 18.6% 0.3% Did not work... 2,280 356 21.3% 2.9% 18.9% 0.4% Families at Selected Ratios of Income to Poverty Level

Income below the poverty threshold:

All families... 1,243 204 11.2% 1.8% 7.9% 0.2% With related children under 18 years... 958 177 19.8% 3.1% 13.6% 0.4% Married couple family... 171 81 5.6% 2.6% 5.3% 0.3% Single parent or guardian, no spouse present... 787 157 43.6% 6.5% 32.7% 0.8% Female parent or guardian... 725 146 50.5% 7.9% 38.7% 1.0%

Income under 130% of threshold:

All families... 1,777 244 16.0% 2.1% 11.6% 0.2% With related children under 18 years... 1,298 215 26.8% 4.1% 19.0% 0.4% Married couple family... 307 100 10.1% 3.2% 8.8% 0.4% Single parent or guardian, no spouse present... 991 190 54.9% 7.6% 42.4% 0.9% Female parent or guardian... 894 178 62.2% 8.4% 48.9% 1.1%

Income under 185% of threshold:

All families... 2,868 311 25.9% 2.7% 20.1% 0.3% With related children under 18 years... 1,914 270 39.6% 5.1% 30.2% 0.6% Married couple family... 624 150 20.6% 4.6% 17.0% 0.5% Single parent or guardian, no spouse present... 1,290 225 71.5% 8.0% 60.6% 1.0% Female parent or guardian... 1,140 211 79.3% 8.9% 66.8% 1.2%

Statewide Des Moines County Estimates


Food Insecurity

In food insecure households, access to food is limited by a lack of money or other resources. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines two levels of food insecurity: low food security and very low food security.

Low food secure households have difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members. In very low food secure households, the food intake of some household members is reduced and normal eating patterns are disrupted at times during the year due to limited resources. The chart at right illustrates USDA estimates for the incidence of food insecurity by level among households in Iowa compared to the United States.

A food secure household has access to enough food for an active, healthy life

for all household members.

County-Level Estimates of Food Insecurity

While the Federal government does not publish county-level data on food insecurity, some hunger-related interest groups and organizations produce their own sub-state estimates. Table 2 shows estimates produced by the hunger-relief charity Feeding America for the incidence of food insecurity among individuals in Des Moines County. Individuals with incomes below 185% of poverty thresholds may be eligible for certain food and family assistance programs (see Pages 6-7). Table 2 includes estimates for the numbers of food-insecure individuals above and below the 185% poverty threshold. Statewide Individuals who are food insecure Number of persons... 5,610 389,730 % of total population... 13.9% 12.7% Food insecure individuals with incomes <= 185% of poverty Number of persons... 3,927 234,618 % of total population... 9.8% 7.6% Food insecure individuals with incomes >185% of poverty Number of persons... 1,739 155,113 % of total population... 4.3% 5.0%

Des Moines County

Table 2. Estimated Number and Percentage of Food Insecure Individuals

Sources this page: “Prevalence of Household-Level Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security, Average 2010-12,” Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (state and national food insecurity by level); and “Map the Meal Gap,” Feeding America <http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-studies/map-the-meal-gap/~/media/Files/a-map-12/2012_TechnicalBrief_FINAL.ashx> (county and state food insecurity estimates). Low or very low food security Iowa... 11.0 - 14.2 United States... 14.5 - 14.9 Very low food security Iowa... 4.3 - 5.4 United States... 5.5 - 5.7


Access to Food Stores

Distance to Grocery Stores

Access to healthy food may be limited in towns or neighborhoods without a grocery store, especially in areas where public transportation is unavailable. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) measures access using distance to the nearest supermarket, superstore, or other grocery store selling all major categories of food. Households more than one mile from a grocery store in urban areas and 10 miles in rural areas are considered to have low access.*

Table 3 shows USDA estimates of the number and percentage of individuals, children, seniors, low-income individuals (income at or below 200 percent of the Federal poverty threshold), and certain households with low access.

Number and Types of Food


Many types of stores sell food for consumption at home. At right are the number and types of retail food

establishments located in Des Moines County.

Some small stores, such as those with no paid employees other than the owner(s), may be excluded from the establishment counts.

Statewide Individuals with low access to grocery stores

Number of persons... 9,844 598,387 Under 18 years of age... 2,197 144,580 Age 65 years and older... 1,957 91,240 Percentage of total population... 24.4% 19.6% % of population under 18 years... 23.5% 19.9% % of population 65 years and older... 27.6% 20.1% Low income individuals with low access to grocery stores Number of persons... 2,782 178,560 % of total population... 6.9% 5.9% Households with no vehicle and low access to grocery stores Number of households... 235 21,494 % of total households... 1.4% 1.8%

Des Moines County

Table 3. Estimated Number of Individuals and Households With Low Access to Grocery Stores, 2010

Sources this page: 2012 County Business Patterns, U.S. Census Bureau (for number and types of retail food stores); and Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Food Environment Atlas. http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-environment-atlas.aspx (for access to grocery stores). *USDA estimates exclude grocery stores with sales below $2 million per year.

Number Store Type Typical Product Lines

7 Supermarkets A full line of fresh produce, fresh meat and poultry, dairy, dry and packaged foods, and canned and frozen foods. 21 Convenience

Stores A limited line of products that generally include milk, bread, soda, and snacks. May be connected to a gasoline station.

2 Specialty Food

Stores Narrow line of specialty products such as meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, or other foods. 1 Warehouse Clubs

& Supercenters A general line of groceries along with other types of merchandise including apparel and household goods.



Nutrition-Related Health Indicators

Many health conditions such as obesity and diabetes are related to diet. Obesity is defined as Body Mass Index (BMI) >=30.0. The BMI equals a person's body weight in kilograms divided by his or her height in meters squared. Diabetic is defined as the percent of the population ever told by their doctor they are diabetic, excluding women told only during pregnancy. Following are estimates for the incidence of obesity and diabetes among the adult population (ages 18 years and older) for Des Moines County and the state. The rates shown are averages for 2006-2012.

Sources this page: Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (for locations of FMNP-authorized markets); ISU Estimates based on 2012 Census of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture (for fruit and vegetable production acres); and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data from the Health Indicators Warehouse, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics (for incidence of obesity and diabetes).

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

A healthy diet includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and other produce, many of which are available fresh in season from local farmers’ markets and farmstands.

The Iowa’s Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) promotes access to fresh fruits and vegetables by children, pregnant women, and seniors. Eligible participants may use FMNP checks to purchase fresh produce at authorized farmers’ markets and farmstands. The map at right shows the locations of authorized farmers’ markets and farmstands near Des Moines County as of 2014.

A comparatively small amount of Iowa’s cropland acres are devoted to fruit and vegetable production. In Des Moines County, farm operators reported a total of 59 crop acres used for vegetable, fruit, or tree nut production in 2012. The table below shows Des Moines County production acres per 1,000 residents compared to state and national averages.

Des Moines County 1.5 acres

State of Iowa 3.7 acres

United States 31.8 acres

Crop Land Used for Vegetable, Fruit, and Tree Nut Production per 1,000 Residents


Authorized Farmers' Market


Authorized Farmstand

! Other Farmers' Market or Farmstand

FMNP-Authorized Farmers’ Markets and Farmstands

Percentage of Adults Des Moines County State of Iowa

Obese 26.4 - 35.4% 28.1 - 29.3%


Food and Family Assistance Programs


The Food Assistance Program helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need for good health. To be eligible, a household's monthly income must be within applicable gross and net limits for its size. Net monthly income is calculated by subtracting certain allowable deductions from gross monthly income. Some exceptions to the income guidelines apply. Households in which everyone receives Supplemental Security Income or Family Investment Program assistance do not have to meet gross or net monthly income guidelines. Households with an elderly (age 60 or over) or disabled person do not have to meet gross income guidelines. Households that do not meet the published income guidelines might be eligible if their monthly income is not more than 160% of the federal poverty level. Most households do not have to meet an asset test. If they do, their home and the value of at least one vehicle are excluded. For m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n , g o t o h t t p : / / w w w . d h s . s t a t e . i a . u s / C o n s u m e r s / Assistance_Programs/FoodAssistance/index.html. FAMILY INVESTMENT PROGRAM (FIP) Iowa's Family Investment Program provides cash assistance, along with employment and training services, to needy families in return for an agreement that recipients will work toward self-sufficiency. Eligibility requirements are relatively complex and depend on a number of factors including income, assets (e.g., cash, bank accounts, etc.), having a minor child, having a Social Security number, cooperating with the Child Support Recovery office, being a resident of Iowa and cooperating with PROMISE JOBS, the Department's work and training program. FIP assistance has a federal lifetime limit of 60 months of assistance received in all states. For more d e t a i l e d i n f o r m a t i o n , s e e h t t p : / / www.dhs.state.ia.us/docs/FIPBrochure.pdf.

Program Participation Levels and Trends

Food and family assistance programs available to Iowa households and families include the Food Assistance Program, referred to at the Federal level as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Family Investment Program (FIP); the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and Free and Reduced School Meals Program. Recent county and statewide participation levels in these programs are illustrated in Table 4 below and charts on the following page.


Food Assistance Program

Average monthly participation

Number of recipients... 8,789 420,033 Payment per recipient ($)... 120 115 Participants per 1,000 population

Calendar year 2013... 217.1 135.9 Latest 3-year average... 214.5 132.0

Family Investment Program

Average monthly participation

Number of recipients... 798 36,115 Payment per recipient ($)... 131 129 Participants per 1,000 population

Calendar year 2013... 19.7 11.7 Latest 3-year average... 20.6 12.9


Unduplicated Annual Participation*

Infants and Children... 1,330 79,657 Women... 551 33,141 Participants per 1,000 population

Calendar year 2013... 46.5 36.5 Latest 3-year average... 49.8 37.9

Free or Reduced School Lunch

Number of eligible students Free lunch... 2,998 164,027 Reduced-price lunch... 344 31,685 Eligible percentage of enrollment... 2013-2014... 52.4% 41.1% Latest 3-year average... 51.6% 40.3%

*Unduplicated counts of pers ons is s ued food benefits during the year, with each participant counted only once each year.

Des Moines County


Food and Family Assistance Programs, continued

15 4 16 8 18 8 20 9 21 8 21 7 50 100 150 200 250 20 08 20 09 20 10 20 11 20 12 20 13 Number of participants per 1,000 population

Food Assistance Program Participation

Des Moines Statewide 24 25 24 22 20 20 5 10 15 20 25 30 20 08 20 09 20 10 20 11 20 12 20 13 Number of participants per 1,000 population

Family Investment Program Participation

Des Moines Statewide 42 45 49 50 52 52 10 20 30 40 50 60 20 08 20 09 20 10 20 11 20 12 20 13 Eligible students as % of enrollment

Eligibility for Free or Reduced School Meals

Des Moines



USDA provides federal grants to states to provide supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for individuals at nutritional risk. To be eligible for WIC in Iowa, individuals must live in the state and be included in one of the eligible participant categories: pregnant, breast-feeding (up to one year), postpartum (up to six months), or infants or children up to the age of five. Eligible participants must be in households that have income at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level. They also must have a medical or nutrition need as determined at the certification appointment. For more information, go to http://www.idph.state.ia.us/ wic.


Children in households with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free lunches and breakfasts. Children in households with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price lunches and breakfasts, for which no more than 40 cents may be charged. While virtually all schools offer lunch, many do not offer breakfast.

The Iowa Department of Education provides data on school enrollment and the number of students eligible for free and reduced-price school meals. Recent eligibility levels are shown at right, with the number of students eligible expressed as a percentage of total enrollment for the academic years indicated (e.g., 2010 describes the 2010-2011 school year).

Data Sources: Food Assistance Program and Family Investment Program data were obtained from the Iowa Department of Human Services and compiled by the State Data Center of Iowa. WIC data were provided courtesy of the Iowa Department of Public Health. Unless otherwise noted, Food Assistance, FIP, and WIC program data re lect calendar year 2013 averages. Free/Reduced School Meals data were obtained from the Iowa Department of Education. Eligibility data re lect the 2013-2014 academic year, unless otherwise noted. 50 54 54 54 49 46 10 20 30 40 50 60 20 08 20 09 20 10 20 11 20 12 20 13 Number of participants per 1,000 population

WIC Program Participation

Des Moines


Household Income

Median household and family income values and median worker earnings are shown in Table 5. Household income describes the annual, pre-tax income from all sources (earnings, Social Security, public assistance, etc.) for all members in a household. Earnings include wages, salaries, and net self-employment income. Values are shown using 90 percent confidence intervals.

Local Income Characteristics

Personal Income by Source

Total personal income is the income received by all persons from all sources. Its major components include the earnings of workers and incomes of proprietors; rental, dividend, and interest income from investments; and government and other transfer payments. The chart below illustrates Des Moines County’s average per capita income in dollars and the average percentage contributed by each major source.

Transfer payments, which include Social Security, Medicare, income maintenance and other assistance programs, are an important source of local personal income. The fraction of local income derived from government assistance programs provides a relative measure of need. Table 6 shows detailed flows of income maintenance and other transfer payments into Des Moines County compared to statewide per capita averages.

Sources this page: American Community Survey Table DP-03, U.S. Census Bureau (for household income and earnings); and Local Area Personal Income and Employment Tables CA1-3, CA04, and CA35, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (for personal income and transfers by source).

Per Capita Personal Income: 2012 Annual Average In Dollars and Percentage ContribuƟon by Source

State of Iowa All households... 41,568 - 45,286 50,856 - 51,402 Families... 51,340 - 56,760 64,400 - 65,144 Non-family households... 22,332 - 25,058 28,554 - 29,182 Males... 40,187 - 43,433 44,567 - 45,009 Females... 28,691 - 31,725 34,110 - 34,556

Median Earnings of Full-Time, Year-Round Workers ($) Table 5. Income Statistics, 2008-2012

Des Moines County

Median Incomes ($)

Table 6. Transfer Payments Per Capita($) in 2012


Retirement and Disability

Social Security (OASDI)... 3,371 2,727 Non-OASDI disability and related... 263 71


Medicare... 2,089 1,680 Medicaid and related... 1,397 1,181 Military medical... 20 22

Income Maintenance

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)... 170 98 Earned Income Tax Credit... 181 126 SNAP (Food Assistance)... 318 192 Other income maintenance*... 304 230

Other Transfers

Veterans benefits... 209 181 Unemployment insurance... 252 213 Education and training assistance... 359 361 All other... 212 208

Des Moines County

70.2% 66.5% 13.0% 16.9% 10.1% 10.0% 6.8% 6.6% $0 $10,000 $20,000 $30,000 $40,000 $50,000 $60,000 Des Moines $54,286 Statewide $43,935

Other public and private transfers

Social Security and Medicare

Investment income

Earnings from work

*Includes Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), energy assistance, foster care and adoption assistance, WIC payments, and general state and local assistance to low-income individuals and families.


Measures of Household Economic Stress


The loss of wages and other benefits due to unemployment may contribute to individual and family economic stress. The chart at right shows recent average, annual unemployment rates in the county and state. The unemployment rate measures the percentage of the civilian labor force that is unemployed. The labor force consists of all persons aged 16 or older who either are currently employed or actively seeking work.

Health Insurance

The cost of obtaining health care services may require families, especially those lacking health insurance coverage, to make trade-offs between health care and food. Table 7 shows the estimated number and percentage of individuals without health insurance. The displayed ranges reflect 90% confidence intervals for each measure.

Housing Costs

Housing costs typically represent a large fraction of a family’s budget, and may constrain the amount of income available for purchasing food. Table 8 shows the estimated median value for homes and median gross rent for housing units in the county and state. Also shown are estimated percentages of households whose housing costs exceed 30 percent of their monthly income. The displayed ranges reflect 90% confidence intervals for each measure.

5. 6 7. 9 7. 8 7. 1 6. 3 6. 0 2 4 6 8 10 20 08 20 09 20 10 20 11 20 12 20 13 % of labor force

Average Annual Unemployment Rate

Des Moines


Sources this page: Local Area Unemployment Statistics (for unemployment rates), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Small Area Health Insurance Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau (for health insurance coverage); and American Community Survey Table DP-04, U.S. Census Bureau (for housing costs).

State of Iowa

Housing Values & Rents

Median home value ($)... 91,750 - 97,250 122,520 - 123,480 Median gross rent ($)... 579 - 649 651 - 659

Homeowners with a mortgage... 23.7% - 29.7% 23.3% - 24.0% Homeowners without a mortgage... 11.3% - 16.1% 11.4% - 11.9% Renters... 38.3% - 50.4% 44.7% - 45.8%

% of Households With Housing Costs >=30% of Income

Table 8. Estimated Housing Costs, 2008-2012

Des Moines County

State of Iowa

Uninsured Population

All persons under 65 years... 2,636 - 3,290 242,274 - 257,518 Children 18 years and younger... 219 - 413 26,604 - 34,036

Estimated % Uninsured

All persons under 65 years... 8.1% - 10.1% 9.6% - 10.2% Children 18 years and younger... 2.3% - 4.3% 3.6% - 4.6%

Table 7. Health Insurance Coverage Estimates, 2008-2012


Educational Attainment and English Language Ability

Individuals with lower educational attainment may have limited employment and earnings opportunities that contribute to household economic stress. Table 10 displays the percentage of the adult population by their highest degree attained. Educational attainment is reported for the adult aged population after their education is largely complete (25 years of age or older). Values are displayed using 90% confidence intervals.

Language barriers may hinder programming and other local efforts to assist area families and individuals in need. Table 10 below shows the number and percentage of individuals ages 5 years and older who report speaking English less than “very well.”

Age Distribution by Race and Ethnicity

Recent U.S. Census Bureau population estimates by age, race, and Hispanic origin for Des Moines County are shown in Table 9 below. The Census Bureau defines Hispanic as an ethnicity, not a race. Individuals of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

Population Profile

State of Iowa

% Less than 9th grade... 2.2% - 3.6% 3.6% - 3.8% % High school diploma... 89.9% - 91.9% 90.6% - 90.8% % Bachelor's degree or higher... 18.0% - 21.0% 25.1% - 25.5%

Number of persons... 135 - 419 82,423 - 86,155 Percentage of population... 0.3% - 1.1% 2.9% - 3.1%

Adults by Highest Degree Attained

Population with Limited English-Speaking Ability (Age 5 and Older)

Table 10. Education and English Language Ability, 2008-2012 Des Moines County

Sources this page: 2012 Annual Population Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau (for age distribution by race, and ethnicity); and American Community Survey Table DP-02, U.S. Census Bureau (for educational attainment and English language ability).

Table 9. Population Estimates, 2013

Group Under 20 20 to 44 45 to 64 65 years All Ages Des Moines Statewide

Total Population... 10,230 11,601 11,199 7,450 40,480 100.0 100.0 White alone... 8,451 10,382 10,664 7,266 36,763 90.8 92.5 Black alone... 988 814 356 130 2,288 5.7 3.3 American Indian/Alaska Native alone... 39 49 34 7 129 0.3 0.5 Asian alone... 96 149 72 18 335 0.8 2.0 Any other race or combination... 656 207 73 29 965 2.4 0.1 Hispanic (of any race)... 557 406 150 44 1,157 2.9 5.5

Des Moines County Population by Age Racial/Ethnic Group % of Population


Iowa State University Extension programs are available to all without regard to race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries can be directed to the Director of Equal

Opportunity and Compliance, 3280 Beardshear Hall, (515) 294-7612.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Cathann A. Kress, director, Cooperative Extension Service, Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Ames, Iowa.

Data Notes

Publication prepared by: Liesl Eathington Assistant Scientist Department of Economics

515-294-2954 leathing@iastate.edu For more information, please contact:

Kimberly Greder Associate Professor and

Human Sciences Extension and Outreach Specialist Human Development & Family Studies

515-294-5906 kgreder@iastate.edu

Federal HHS Poverty Guidelines, 2014

Federal Poverty Guidelines

The U.S. Census Bureau determines the poverty status of the non-institutionalized population based on family size and income level. If a family’s total annual income is below the threshold level appropriate for that family size, every member of the family is considered poor. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) annually publishes poverty guidelines by family size that are based on Census Bureau poverty thresholds. At right are current HHS poverty guidelines as published in the Federal Register, Document Number 2014-01303, January 22, 2014.

Family Size 100% 130% 185% 1 11,670 15,171 21,590 2 15,730 20,449 29,101 3 19,790 25,727 36,612 4 23,850 31,005 44,123 5 27,910 36,283 51,634 6 31,970 41,561 59,145

Annual Family Income ($)

Percentage of Poverty Threshold

Other Information Sources

• Poverty: Poverty rate data in this report were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community

Survey. Other sources for poverty data include the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates Program and the Current Population Survey, both of which are administered by the U.S. Census Bureau.

• Food insecurity: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes estimates of food insecurity at the

national and state levels using data collected from a special annual supplement to the Current Population Survey. The county-level data in this report were obtained from Map the Meal Gap, Feeding America (http://

feedingamerica.org/). Readers are encouraged to visit their web site for more information about their methodology and data sources.

• Access to food stores: This report utilized county-level statistics from the Food Access Research Atlas, Economic

Research Service, USDA. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also analyzed access to healthier food retailers at the census tract level. For more information, see the publication, “Access to Healthier Food Retailers — United States, 2011,” available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6203a4.htm.

• Resources for families and communities: Please visit the ISUEO Families and Communities Web page at




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